Developing Policies and Proposals for Alleviating Key Binding Constraints To Agriculture in The Caribbean: workshop Proceedings Final Report
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IICA. 2005. Developing Policies and Proposals for Alleviating Key Binding Constraints To Agriculture in The Caribbean: workshop Proceedings Final Report. IICA, Trinidad and Tobago
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/63742
This initiative seeks to facilitate agriculture’s decisive move from the crossroads that it currently finds itself into bold action to reposition its industries, enterprises and peoples along a path of sustainable and equitable growth.
Context: Agriculture has been a critical building block of all Caribbean economies, in terms of its contribution to gross national output, foreign exchange earnings and employment. However, in recent years, in several countries of the Caribbean, its economic performance has been characterized by a marked unevenness and a failure to attain a steady growth pattern. Export agriculture has been in crisis; precipitated by the deterioration in traditional industries due to adjustment difficulties related to trade liberalization and commodity market price volatility; and instability in others, such as, citrus, coffee, cocoa and spices, due to severe competitive pressures and a proliferation of stringent product and process standards in developed countries. The food production sector, which generally performed better, has been faced with increasing competition in the domestic markets as the process of globalization and trade liberalization progresses. These recent experiences in agriculture suggest that policy formulation and consequent programme implementation have been key constraints in the transformation of agriculture in the region. Regional policy makers have repeatedly emphasized that domestic agriculture is largely responsive to external stimuli. In response to this, and the changing economic environment, Caribbean countries are engaged in the process of adjusting and reorienting their agricultural and rural development policies to better equip the sector to meet this new paradigm for the 21st Century. Consequently, policy change, strong and practical policies must be prerequisites for the agricultural adjustment and repositioning process. President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, lead Head for Agriculture within the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government (CHoG) recognized that the response for agriculture by our States, singly and collectively, requires major adjustments. Such adjustment should lead to marked improvements in how we engage, support and finance the business of agriculture, including how we organize our supply base, market our products and procure our inputs. These have significant policy implications for our Ministers of Agriculture and our entire Cabinets at the national levels, as well as for the CHoG and the Forum of Ministers of Agriculture at the regional level. This initiative, facilitated by the Alliance for the Sustainable Development of Agriculture and the Rural Milieu in the Caribbean (The Alliance ) and the CTA/IICA-supported Caribbean Region Agricultural Policy Network (CaRAPN) is therefore fully complementary to the CARICOM Regional Transformation Program (RTP) for Agriculture. It seeks to facilitate agriculture’s decisive move from the crossroads that it currently finds itself into bold action to reposition its industries, enterprises and peoples along a path of sustainable and equitable growth. As part of that repositioning process, the CHoG mandated countries, supported by development organizations working in agriculture within the region, to identify and develop a package of initiatives to address the three or four most binding constraints to a dynamic and competitive agricultural sector in all member states of the region. The identification of these constraints has emerged from a region-wide process of ongoing national consultations. The framework for the conduct of these national consultations was developed by the Facilitators Briefing Meeting held in Trinidad and Tobago from September 30 to October 01. This regional policy workshop is thus convened to take these national outputs a step further in the process of developing the framework, of the supportive actions required at the regional level, for agricultural repositioning. Objectives: This workshop seeks to: ? develop firm proposals that seek, in a practical and meaningful manner, to alleviate the three or four most binding constraints to national agricultural sector growth initiatives for the consideration of the CARICOM Heads of Government. ? strengthen the framework for regional-level agricultural policy analysis, formulation and implementation within the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in order to add value to national actions and engender regional harmony among development projects and programs; Expected Outputs: As a result of the workshop: ? Member states will be provided with a draft framework to guide regional agricultural policy analysis, formulation and implementation within the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); ? Fulfillment of the Jagdeo mandate which required development of draft proposals that seek to address the three or four most binding constraints through regional action, for consideration of the CARICOM Heads of Government.